Weather or Climate?

We need a sense of proportion


The floods have achieved one thing: they’ve whipped up a frenzy about climate change.  Some flood victims (for whom we all have enormous sympathy) have been seen with banners calling for “climate action now”.  Now Ed Miliband wades in telling us that “Britain is sleep-walking into a climate crisis”.

But if we are, there’s nothing we can do about the climate, and we should focus on flood defences.  And drainage and dredging.  A pound spent on flood defences is better than thousands spent on wind farms.  Here’s why.

No link between climate and weather: Despite the flurry of hysteria led by Julia Swingo of the Met Office, and rashly supported by our Prime Minister, there is no good evidence of any link between climate change and weather.  Old-party politicians are too eager to curry favour by climbing onto bandwagons of public concern, without thinking through the evidence.  Repeated studies of hurricane activity show no general trend.  Massive increases in insurance liability are driven by more property, more insurance and by our unfortunate tendency to build on flood plains — not climate.  Indeed the computer models on which climate alarmism is based suggest that any anthropogenic warming would be most marked at the poles.  This would reduce differentials between the Equator and the poles, and so might arguably reduce extreme weather events.

Probably no anthropogenic warming anyway:  I have written extensively on this so I won’t repeat myself here.  No one disputes that the earth has got slightly warmer in the last hundred years.  This appears to be entirely consistent with well-understood, long-term natural climate cycles, and is no evidence of human input.  Nor is it remotely unusual: we have seen similar rates of change as long as there have been records, and we know that there were natural changes an order of magnitude greater in the past, for example during the Younger Dryas 12,000 years ago.  So even if Julia Swingo is right about the temperature/weather link, that is not evidence that the slight warming is man-made.

Our climate mitigation efforts cannot possibly work:  While we put up pathetic wind farms and solar panels, there are 1200 new coal-fired power station in the global pipeline. And there will be more.  Developing countries are not going to accept permanent poverty in the hope that decades into the future there might be some effect on the climate.  Meantime environmental economist Björn Lomborg (who actually buys the Al Gore/IPCC model of climate change) has calculated, using all the IPCC assumptions, that the $110 billion that Germany has spent on solar PV will, by 2100, have delayed the progress of climate change by a mere 37 hours. What will that do for flooded homes in the Somerset Levels, or the Thames Valley?  Precisely nothing.

Ed Miliband’s ignorance on these points is alarming.  David Cameron’s refusal to acknowledge them is more culpable.  We might (perhaps) have expected better from him.  Drainage and dredging and dykes and other flood prevention mechanisms can have an immediate effect and can demonstrably deliver savings that greatly exceed costs.  Money invested (or wasted) on renewable energy projects like wind and solar is simply wasted, and will do virtually nothing either to reduce atmospheric CO2 or to mitigate climate change.  It is money down the drain.  And a tiny fraction of that money could have protected the Somerset Levels and the ThamesValley.

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36 Responses to Weather or Climate?

  1. Martin Dixon says:

    Of course the floods aren’t caused by climate change. Or at least, we can’t possibly know that at this stage. They are simply weather. When we have had 10 successive winters like this one, then I might start to believe that the climate has changed towards wetter winters. But since the last four winters have been nothing like this one, there is clearly not yet a discernible trend that would make it a climate issue. Heavy rainfall in the UK often seems to occur at times of solar max. So when we have seen wetter UK winters persist through an entire solar cycle (about 11 years usually, although it varies), we will be in a better position to form an opinion on how or climate might be changing. Some politicians are just trying to jump on the climate change bandwagon, with the idea of increasing their control over the rest of us. God help us if they ever find a way to control the climate, since their first instinct will be to use it in their own interests and against ours, probably as a weapon of war.

  2. omanuel says:


    I started research in 1960 and could not understand why experimental data were being ignored until I had watched incredible official responses to emails and documents released in November 2009.

    The release of Climategate emails and documents in Nov 2009 gave the public it’s first glimpse into the corruption of post-WWII science.

    Official responses by leaders of the scientific community and the heads of governments have since revealed open deception after the end of the Second World War, 1945, about the source of energy in cores of:

    1. Heavy atoms like Uranium
    2. Some planets like Jupiter
    3. Ordinary stars like the Sun
    4. Galaxies like the Milky Way

    To verify this for yourself, ask any member of the UN’s IPCC, the UK’s Royal Society, the US or any other National Academy of Sciences, or the Swedish or Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee to publicly address three figures of precise experimental data (Figures 1-3, pages 19-27, my autobiography).

    Click to access Chapter_2.pdf

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

  3. Paul says:

    Deary Me. You write about the floods and yet make no mention whatsoever about the extent of EU directives and the way these directives have directly led to a greater proportion of flooding we have seen.
    You mention Ed Miliband, Julia Slingo, wind farms and the like but still you and your party ignore the obvious which is, as I’ve said, EU directives.
    Why are UKIP and it’s leadership deliberately ignoring this? Why, when I asked you for proof that Nigel Farage has raised these egregious directives you seem to ignore my requests?
    What on Earth can UKIP be hiding? Did they actually vote for these directives or abstain?
    Is it all a little too embarrassing if this is the case?
    An own goal perhaps?

  4. Patriot says:

    I was told at school many years ago that at some timr the sea would reclaim the land, to me the obvious way for this to occur is the silting of the rivers causing them to `spill over` onto the land.
    There was a time when rivers were dredged as a matter of course, but I have not seen a dredger near our local river for many years, Also road and street drains have not been kept clear, many of my local ones have grass and weeds growing in them. Also dykes in fields have been neglected and allowed to block up. The research I would like to see carried out is the effect of turbulence created by w2indfarms on local weather conditions, both by interfering with precipitation out at sea and on cloudburst when on high ground. I noted that some of the greatest changes in weather are in countries with the most amount of windfarms ie India, China etc. But of course the climate change supporters aren`t interested in any of this. I look forward to at least a protest from them about the destruction of forests which will affect climate, Prince Charles spoke out about it a few years ago but he seems to have been told to `shut up`?

  5. Richard111 says:

    What Paul said above. With knobs on! I am beginning to get really, really fed up with this fantasy land government of ours.

  6. Joseph Croft says:

    after the floods of 1953 , Holland started doing some thing about it , and have had no such flooding since , but was climate change resposible for the floods of 1703 , whe over 5000 people in the UK lost their lives also 1000s of ships were wrecked , listening to these climate alarmists you would think we had never had a flood before ,

  7. Eric says:

    I am surprised you do not mention the EU angle on this.

  8. Christopher Browne says:

    I heard Clegg say on LBC Radio the other say that we must prevent CO2 escaping through the windows and roofs of our houses.
    Nobody picked him up on it.

  9. Mike Stallard says:

    “Drainage and dredging and dykes and other flood prevention mechanisms can have an immediate effect and can demonstrably deliver savings that greatly exceed costs. ”
    George Monbiot and several Hydrologists from different Universities dispute this. They say that the problem is making rivers flow uphill. If the hinterland is lower than sea level, they say, the only thing to do is to reduce the flow of rivers so the tide cannot flow through their channels to flood the land. Rivers ought to be allowed to silt up and certainly not dredged. They should also be allowed to form oxbow lakes to stop incoming tides.
    Similarly, the mouth of the rivers ought to be turned into swamps so that the incoming rush of tides can be softened and the level of the sea actually raised. Meanwhile, inland, there should be deliberate planting of forests to absorb the catchment water.
    It is as obvious as CO2 really if you think about it. Water cannot flow uphill!

    I was at Sutton Bridge yesterday on the mouth of the River Nene which drains part of the Fens. There is a straight cut through to the sea engineered by Cornelius Vermuyden in the 1640s. The Nene is tidal. What was once salt marshes (called round here Washes) is now prime farmland. The Fens (I live on Waldersee) are dry. The rivers are some 18 feet above the low lying land. The pumping stations do the lifting of the water. It works like a charm.
    Good old Vermuyden! Hated at the time, very much forgotten today!

    • Thomas Fox says:

      I totally agree with all your knowledge in Geophysics because of my experience of farming on Moss land in north west Lancs it is a subject close to heart.
      It’s pity that these matters are not well understood by most writers and so called Green Activists maybe they have no wish to?
      They mention sea level rises but this peat land has shrunk since drainage but still remains valuable cropping land with efficient pumping systems
      I hope we can exchange more ideas about this subject as the Greens need better education!

      • Thomas Fox says:

        In addition to my own reply I have no intention of remaining anonymous in these subjects but shall be sounding off in all directions to protect our prime farm land from these misinformed cranks

  10. Ex-expat Colin says:

    James Delingpole in new job here:

    10 Lefty Lies About The Floods Which Have Devastated Britain

    Close enough for me.

    • Thomas Fox says:

      Welcome to James for giving his straight talking views on how the Greens have gained too much influence in political thinking considering they are in a minority
      I have followed your writing for some time long before joining UKIP so I hope you will continue in your constructive common sense deliberations

  11. silverminer says:

    The key paragraph from Delingpole’s article linked above:-

    “The fact – and this cannot be restated often enough – is that these floods are a man-made disaster. But the man-made element has nothing whatsoever to do with anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Rather it is the result of deliberate policy, initiated by the UN (Agenda 21), the European Union and its amen corner the Environment Agency, designed to create wildlife habitats at the expense of humans.”

    This is Agenda 21. They’ve slated the Somerset Levels for a nature reserve and want the people out. Anywhere that pumps, levees, dykes etc are required are unnatural as far as the Eco-Fascists are concerned and the people who live there will just have to move.

    Here’s a policy for UKIP. Abolish the Environment Agency, divide the budget up between the County Councils and return responsibility for this kind of thing to local democratic control. The local people will know whose door to go knocking on if they mess this up next time.

  12. ishtarsgate says:

    This tweet came past me the other day, and I thought it just about summed it up.

    Man in his arrogance believed humankind’s actions could change the temperature of the planet. Worse still, they believed taxes could stop it.

    • Thomas Fox says:

      Very true how can the most brilliant academic think he can change the climate by reducing Co2 and taxing the people to achieve it

  13. Thomas Fox says:

    What to do for the Somerset Levels and Moors
    A meeting to be held on 7th of March chaired by Defra and all associated quangos and affected parties to discuss how to solve the problem of flooding
    The EA will have ready a pre- determined plan of expenditure for this complicated scheme running into years ahead without any intention of completing.
    There will be lots of heated exchanges and requests from the local farmers and householders and rightly so as they have suffered terrible consequences.
    The chair will call the meeting to a close and all officials will scarper like frightened rabbits out out of the back to avoid any angry disillusioned members.
    I hope this is not true

  14. Your last point on – “our climate mitigation efforts cannot possibly work” – can be looked at in another way.
    Stern said in his review that the costs of unmitigated climate change were at least 5 times the cost of policy. So policy exchanges 5 for 1.
    Stern did not say, in this statement, that policy does not allay all the costs, so policy actually exchanges 5 for 1+1.
    We all know that the UK sets a bad example. Policy is not running at one fifth of the social cost of carbon but maybe five times. So policy exchanges 5 for 25+1.
    But the UK is now the only country now with an activist policy. Successful policy in the UK will mean that global emissions in 2050 will be up to 0.5% lower than they would have been. So, for the UK, “successful” policy exchanges 5 for 25+4.975. In the non-policy countries, they will not notice the difference between 5 and 4.975. But they will have been spending a lot of money on adapting to the changes as they occurred, so they will not be bearing anything like all those costs.
    In Britain, the recent floods show that we have not the people in Government who will sceptically look at the data to decipher the faint signals of climate change from the natural variations.

  15. ilma630 says:

    Roger, The latest breaking news is that Michael ‘Hockey Stick’ Mann has failed to disclose his data as demanded by a Canadian court in his libel case against Dr Tim Ball. See:

    This renders his hockey stick, the basis of so much climate alarmism and arguably the whole global warming/climate change charade including IPCC reports, as baseless, false, corrupt, etc. UKIP need to be shouting this from the rooftops, as it effectively collapses the whole CAGW case.

    Also, Dr Tim Ball is a contributing scientist to the PSI organisation, set up to bring scientific reality back into the climate debate. It has been ridiculed and derided by many by challenging the core “CO2 must warm” assumption. It is time now to apply serious examination and challenge to that assumption, as all the observational data demonstrates that the temperature hiatus is real, despite large CO2 increases.

    This case collapse is not alone, but as the article says, a previous libel case brought by Professor Andrew Weaver (“climate scientist” at the University of Victoria, BC, Deputy Leader of the Green Party of British Columbia, and a member of the British Columbia Legislative Assembly) has also collapsed for the same reason, also leaving Dr Ball vindicated.

  16. Martin says:

    I agree. UKIP is not doing the job thwey should be doing on the EU, and I seriouly begin to doubt if they really do want out, or are a false front to deflect those of us who do. You could do a lot worse than read Richard North’s EU Referendun blog. He has done a masterly analysis on this, something that seems to have escaped UKIP. He lays the floodin g of the Somerset Levels at the EU’s door, As an ex-fenman myself, origianly from what is now Cambridgeshire, I wll know how much damage these directives can do to my homeland. Yet nobody, not even UKIP who clains to care about shuch things, is doing anything to move opinion away from the metropolitan attitudes of our political parties. Are yopu just another metropolitan party, or will you dare to be different. I’m waiting.

    • Thomas Fox says:

      As a retired Moss Land farmer from Lancashire I sympathise with the people flooded in Somerset and entirely agree with you the Metrapolitan attitude can take presedence over all rural interests

  17. Graham says:

    Interestingly, the latest from the Met Office is that we have had the wettest winter in 250 years or so. So, what was the cause of the really wet winter 250 years ago, I ask. That was before the impact of the industrial revolution so the argument of man-made vs cyclical climate change seems a moot point.

  18. Thomas Fox says:

    I understand that the IPCC and it’s followers are all highly educated in Engineering /Science /Physics so why have they got it so wrong? Is it that they have never had a proper business job to put this learning into useful practice to help all mankind?

  19. Patriot says:

    I have just heard on the news about flooding around the Amazon, I went onto google and checked wind farms in the area, I thought there would not be any, surprise surprise, they are all over South America. Has there never been a link researched between wind farms and local weather conditions all over the world? India, China etc are among the largest users. OK if there is a link accept it, don`t blame us and make us pay for it! Wind farms and rain forest destruction must rank pretty high on the list. I would like to here other views.

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